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of the party the state of hawaii and the nation. >> he was aboard air force one with president obama who has been vacationing in hawaii. he is expected to be sworn in lart today. >> it is the next step in the long healing process for the people of newtown connecticut. the town moving forward with plans for a permanent memorial honoring the 26 victims of the sandy hook massacre. all of the flowers letters photos and teddy bears will be turned into soil and blocks to be used atz the foundation of a future memorial. dozens of people singing mazing grace as they remembered the two firefighters murdered in western new york. ♪ i once was lost but now am found ♪ >> that community coming together to honor fallen heros. the two men were shot and killed during an ex-con's christmas eve ambush. for the first time we are also hearing from those who survived the attack some firefighters. a joint statement offered the pair's gratitude for all of the prayers they have gotten. doctors have upgraded both of their conditions to satisfactory. >> oo to maine where a dive team from the police department will
obama is in hawaii on udget dn. nancy cordes is there as well. nancy, good evening. nancy, goor: jeff, this would : sentially be a last-ditch effort to avert the fiscal ially be sources tell us that aides to the president have been in talks preliminary talks, with aides to senate majority leader harry elf who himself was here in hawaii this weekend for the funeral of senator daniel inouye. eid is now working, we're told, on a smaller package than the comprehensive deal than the president was working on with speaker boehner. than tmall package would prevent tax rates from rising for middle-class, perhaps cut some spending and tie up a few other loose ends. so far, though, senator reid has so fbeen in touch with republicans over this plan. blicans ovent and the first lady as you mentioned, are here in hawaii. th atte also attended senator inouye's funeral this weekend. this is the president's first real vacation, jeff, in about a year. real nut he's cutting it short, heading home later this week to bu heading hothe fiscal cliff as well. lor:lor: nancy, the white house ouses they have a
hawaii tonight to come back to d.c. let's speak to a republican from florida. congresswoman, you played a big role in getting a marine out of a nightmarish prison in mexico and back to his family for christmas. first, i want to ask you about the fiscal cliff and what's happening in the next couple of days. first, do you think it's possible we'll get anything other than a band-aid between now and six days from now when the triggers kick in? >> i'm very optimistic if all of us pull our weight and do some serious conversations we'll have a bipartisan solution, because nobody wants to go over this fiscal cliff. it will damage our economy. it will hurt every taxpayer, the largest tax increase in history. it will affect everybody, and anyone who is watching who thinks, oh this isn't going to impact me, you will fin out d o will, and we know the problem is a lot of spending. not that we're not taxing people more, we're just spending too much. we hope that the president understands that as for as republicans are concerned, we're willing to negotiate and have a civil conversation, but also he's
hawaii tonight to try to work on a bargain between democrats and republicans. brianna keilar is traveling with the president in hawaii and joins us now. good morning, brianna. did the president cut his vacation short or was it planned all along? >> reporter: he did cut his vacation short from what was initially planned which was to go through the new year, so yes, he cut it short. i think we have a sense he might be heading back to d.c., carol, you'll recall when talks fell apart last week between house speaker john boehner and the president as the president departed for hawaii he talked to reporters in the briefing room and he said "see you next week" so i think we had a sense he would be coming back earlier than initially planned and it was just a matter of when, not if, and he'll be heading back tonight, that's local time so he'll be traveling overnight, it's quite a long flight, nine or ten hours and he'll be back in d.c. by thursday late morning. >> any behind the scene talks over the holiday? >> reporter: right now the white house has been in communication with senate democrats but
in d.c. a few hours ago after scrapping the rest of the holiday vacation in hawaii. before his departure, the president called all four congressional leaders, reid, mcconnell, boehner and pelosi. now fiery words after reid hit boehner with volley after volley from the senate floor earlier today. >> if we go over the cliff and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days after today aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have 48-hours notice. i can't imagine their conscie e consciences. >> speaker boehner's office responding with a terse statement saying in part, quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed legislation to avoid the entire fiscal cliff. senate democrats have not. joining me now from d.c. nbc news white house correspondent peter alexander. peter, there was word the last hour that the president may have sent some sort of deal. the white house then turning around saying that's not true at all. where was the confusion? >> reporter: well, you hear th
was a freshman at the university of hawaii. >> host: i apologize. take it one step back. how did she get to hawaii? >> guest: her father, who had been a furniture salesman in mercer island, or in seattle, washington, he got a job selling furniture in honolulu. he was always looking over the next thing. moving west. he moved from kansas, california, spent time and seattle, seattle to hawaii. so she came along as a family. she was only 17 when she graduated from high school, and excellent public school in suburban seattle. her name is stanley and. his name was stanley. barack obama had been there since 1969. also an undergraduate even though he was much older. and they both happen to sign up for a beginning russian class. this was during right after sputnik and the schools all of the country are starting to teach russian. it was the most important thing public schools could do, prepare the u.s. for the cold war. so they both ended up in a russian class and that's what the met. >> host: how long do they know each other before they got married? >> guest: they knew each other for five months.
, telling her he was leaving portland and moving to hawaii this past weekend. >> he had his plane ticket. he was ready to go. and then this happened, and it just makes me think why it was even in the back of his mind or if he just had another plan to leave. >> reporter: instead of hawaii, police say he went to the mall dressed to kill. police say roberts made a beeline from his volkswagen jetta in the parking lot through the macy's store carrying a rifle, wearing a ballistics vest, and a hockey style facemask. he entered on the upper level, when he got to the food court, he was already reportedly firing, killing 54 hospice nurse cindy ann yuille, who was christmas shopping, and 45-year-old steven forsyth, a father of two, who owned a small business in the mall. he fired into the lower level, hitting this 15-year-old, now in the hospital. there his gun jammed. he bolted down a flight of stairs where he got his rifle working again, according to police, and killed himself near the jcpenney store. it was just the latest rampage in a violent year. july's massacre in aurora, colorado, killed 12, b
in hawaii, first lady michelle obama took phone calls from some lucky kids who are tracking the progress of santa claus through a site set up by norad. as it turns out, a record number of those kids and adults were looking for reel time updates on st. nick. as of midnight, trackers answered more than 111,000 calls. that is 4,000 more than last christmas. pretty cool. >>> major markets ended christmas eve on the downside, but who could be gloomy with santa on hand to ring the bell. chris botti jazzed up the stock exchange with a little christmas cheer. some 17 million shoppers were out yesterday with gift cardeds, wine and liquor topping last minute flicks. netflix suffered a massive outage which it blamed on the cloud network. acer is reportedly looking to launch a $99 tablet early next year. >>> if you are looking for last minute gift or maybe a bite to eat this morning it, starbucks, ihop and equal green's should all be open today. >>> it will be a short merry christmas for members of congress with the country perched on the precipice of what some are calling fiscal disaster. lawmakers
that the white house saying the president is cutting his holiday vacation in hawaii short to return to d.c. to work on a deal to try to stop those automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts from kicking in on january 1st. and if they don't reach a deal before then, many economists say we will dip back into a recession. i had henly house republican leaders didn't have a lot of new information for their lawmakers. they would have 48 hour notice if they are needed to pray back to washington from various districts around the country. that tells us they are being noncommittal at this point because they frankly do not know whether or not there will be a deal to avert the fiscal cliff. now, after that conference call. the house speaker john boehner, his number two eric cantor the majority leader put out a statement putting the onus on president obama and for the reason why there has not been a deal so far. basically saying they can't move forward in the house without some sort of action in the senate the next few days. what they left out of that, unfortunately, is the reason why they are waitin
the president cutting his holiday vacation in hawaii short to get back to work on avoiding the fiscal cliff. the white house says the president is set to return to the nation's capital tomorrow morning to try to hammer out a deal where lawmakers on stopping automatic tax hikes and deep spending cuts from kicking in, which is set to happen, if you're not watching the calendar, six days from now. if they don't reach a deal many say it could send the country right back into recession. ed henry is live in honolulu, hawaii. is this a sign the president sees progress in the talks? >> reporter: well, good to see you. it may be the opposite. the president's not seeing progress and wants to get back to washington as soon as possible to goose the process. time is running out. economists say we could go into another recession if the fiscal cliff is not dealt with. we just learned house republicans convened a conference call with members to say be on 48 hours notice to come back to washington in the next few days to deal with this one way or another. the senate coming back into session tomorrow morning
in hawaii. he'll be joined on air force one, or he is joined on air force one right now -- they're in the air, actually -- by hawaii's lieutenant governor brian schatz, who is nominated to fill the senate seat left vacant following the death of senator daniel inouye. schatz is expected to be sworn in later this afternoon or this evening. >>> with the business of legislating stricter gun control, a "usa today"/gallup poll shows a split america. 58% of those polled want stronger gun laws, up 15% from october of last year, but when it comes to assault weapons, 44% of those polled support a federal ban, yet 51% oppose one, showing little movement over the last year. yesterday, philadelphia's mayor renewed calls for an assault weapons ban in the wake of the deadly shootings early monday that killed two firefighters in upstate new york. another teed off on comments made by the head of the nra, who told nbc's david gregory he favors armed guards at every school. >> i guess, you know, out of last week's bizarre press statement -- it wasn't a press conference -- i guess mr. lapierre woul
tonight. >> reporter: president obama cut short his hawaii vacation, running back to washington, where storm clouds, real storm clouds, are gathering over the capitol. instead of deal making, it's name calling. the top democrat in the senate, accusing the republican speaker of the house of running a dictatorship. they say they haven't given up, but it sure sounds that way. >> i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> here we are, once again, at the end of the year, staring at a crisis we should have dealt with literally months ago. >> reporter: vice president biden made a rare appearance in the senate, not to negotiate -- >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. >> reporter: but to swear in a new democratic senator from hawaii. a vote the white house will need if the senate ever gets around to voting on a plan to avert the fiscal cliff. in the house, even less going on. the only hopeful words, from the house chaplain, looking for some divine help. >> as this chamber lies silent, still, we pray for hope. >> reporter: without agreement soon, nearly everybody takes a hit. a schoolteac
until about a week ago when he quit his job and told his ex-girlfriend he was moving to hawaii. we are also learning more about the three people that robert shot. a dedicated hospice nurse, a former radio executive, remembered as a mentor and a jewelrymaker, and a 15-year-old girl who took a bullet to the chest but is expected to survive. dan simon is live from suburban portland. what else are you finding out about jacob roberts? you know, everybody is questioning what was the motive here? >> good morning. investigators have not found anything in terms of a violent history or criminal past, but if you look at his facebook page, you will see a slogan that said "follow your dreams" with the word canceled stamped over it. then the reports that he was telling friends that he inherited a bunch of money and was planning to move to hawaii, nothing of which is grounded in truth. still everyone seems so genuinely shocked that the kid they remember as a popular student in high school could be capable of committing such an atrocity. here's what his ex-girlfriend told abc. >> this is the last
and the president to get their act together. the president took a red eye flight back from hawaii. why did congress and the president go on raication at all. >> yeah, we all go to work. >> there is nothing on the table . kelley. >> a lot of people feel they are left in the lurch by the president and congress. and they didn't get the job done . here's what we are facing. we are teetering on the edge of the fiscal cliff. there are many members in congress who disaagree raising of tax. the president had gone up to $400,000 when house speaker boehner would raise the tax hikes . but the sticking point is enments and spending. >> clayton: the republicans saying that the president and democrats not forth coming enough on entitlements. here's what will unfold in a few short days as we break this down to you. >> put your seat belts on, people. >> clayton: tax rates will hit these numbers and you go up to 120,000 . you will see 31 percent up to 36 percent . in these tax rates as they climb up. >> here's the bottom line. average tax rate of 2,000 to $4000. it is an additional 13,944 . millionaire's status whi
with the president and joins us from hawaii. >> they can still talk, right? true. but the people who matter are not. perhaps the lines of xhoukz are open between the white house and senate democrats. but the white house at this point is not in discussion with not only speaker john boehner but the senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell and perhaps because of that, you have some of that pessimism of senator liberman being shared by republicans. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes and sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue, gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years and blame republicans for it. >> now, all eyes are now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday. seen as likely that president obama will head back to washington from hawaii here. senate minority leader harry reid has the task of trying to conjure up something that might be able to pass the house in addition to the senate publicly. the white house is saying they want tax rates to remain i
? >> absolutely. >> so with the president heading to hawaii and congress on holiday, how do they come to a deal before the end of the year? >> congress will return two days after christmas, so there's some time, a little time, for them to try to do what they have failed to do for months. as for the president, he said he although he's going to hawaii, he said he will fly back to finalize any deal if there's a deal to be finalized, sometime after christmas and before the new year. but it takes time to pass an agreement even once it's reached. >> we shall see. thank you, jonathan karl reporting. one more note from washington. president obama nominated senator john kerry to succeed hillary clinton as secretary of state. secretary clinton who was still recovering from a concussion, was not there, but in a statement called the pick excellent. president obama's first choice for the job, susan rice withdrew her name after coming under fire about the tragedy in benghazi, libya. >>> now an update on that prison break. two convicted robbers scaling 17 stories with a rope made out of bed sheets. then impos
is in hawaii. let's go straight to cnn's emily schmidt in washington. good morning. so before he left the capitoal, he laid out this three-point plan to washington. >> before he left to hawaii, he left for a gift for lawmakers to ponder in washington. here are the three main points he's saying. he wants to make sure there's a law passed that ensures 98% of americans know their taxes are not going to go up in just under two weeks. he also wants to make sure that 2 million americans who would otherwise lose their unemployment benefits if we went over the fiscal cliff would be able to keep those benefits. and finally he says, look, we can take a look at the longer term proposals, the larger reform at a later point. just lay the ground work at this point. we also know before the president left, he talked by phone with house speaker john boehner. he met in person with harry reid, although what the private happened, we don't know. but publicly things sound a lot like they have for the past few weeks. take a listen. >> every member of congress believes that, every democrat, every republican.
, ms. hanabusa of hawaii, would like to take in memory of the extraordinary senator. i had the pleasure of working with him in the mid 1990's when i was the deputy secretary of the department of interior, we were working on the native hawaiian lands issues. he was a remarkable individual, one that not only understood the intricacies of that very complex situation, but also had enormous passion for the native hawaiians. and so tonight i yield whatever time she might want to take to our colleague from the great state of washington -- hawaii. ms. hanabusa: thank you very much to the gentleman from california. i'm here to honor a state which is unique and as special as the person i honor. the person i rise to honor is daniel k. inouye. a person who cannot be described by a single adjective. a person whose accomplishments would cause you to pause and say, is this one person? is this one man? a person was awarded the greatest honor anyone who serves in the military can achieve, the congressional medal of honor. but it was an honor about 55 years late. from a country that questioned his loyalt
is hawaii. the house is out of session. the senate is adjourned. they are going to coming back on the 27th. that gives them five days. they have been talking about this fiscal cliff for months. last five days and they have to involves more than a trillion dollars and billions of dollars in tax hikes. how can they get it done? they won't. president on friday gave the all clear for members not to do a big package. he said, look, let's do a stopgap. in other words, let's stop everyone from having their taxes go up and do something smaller so on january 1st it's not just this big looming.... >> does that mean the president could offer extend the tax rates for six months and begin negotiating all over again beginning in january, obviously that would be the usual procrastination in washington, is that what you are talking about here? >> i think what will happen, the president will look for ways to gain the most leverage for himself. the conventional wisdom, democrats really gain power if january 1st comes along and everybody's taxes goes up. it brings revenues in the treasury and raises rates on
their profits. >>> president obama's in hawaii today where he and the first family will spend christmas. but the president says he will return to the white house after the holiday to continue working on a deal to avoid the fiscal cliff. joining me now, white house editor from politico, rachel smolkin. good to see you. >> good to see you. >> holiday red there, rachel. i will begin with you. is there any realistic timetable where a deal gets done beforian 1? look at the calendar. >> there's a realistic timetable but not an optimistic timetable. not a lot of holiday cheer going on in the nation's capital. after the stunning is heback speaker boehner suffered this week in the house where he could not get his own plan through. had to pull it and because he didn't have the votes. we saw president obama acknowledge yesterday before leaving for his vacation that the deal would -- would dramatically narrow. the parameters of a deal, scope of any possible deal, much smaller than we were looking at even a week ago. he said he would still be open to the big deal but the reality is we are running ou
hawaii moment." and when i said that the president laughed very loudly and he caught himself back and he told this lovely story there meant meant that when things seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket he and rahm would sit in the oval office and think "what wild we rather be doing?" and obama said "we'd rather that v a t-shirt shop in hawaii selling t-shirts" then he paused for a second and said "maybe smoothies, too." and that's what we used to chat about. and rahm was saying maybe he just was thinking about the smoothies on hawaii. >> rose: that's an interesting detail about that. i saw rahm emanuel interviewed and i didn't get this from him yesterday. it's the idea that he still plays, a role. he's still connected to rahm emanuel and gives him advice when asks and asks him advice often. >> i think that would be smart. >> rose: let me talk toou, please, about nels mandela. you were his friend. he's 94 years old. he clearly has not been well: >> he's not well, charlie, he stopped having any kind of public events a couple years ago. he -- you know, a man who -- so much confidence f
-minute deal. for now president obama and the first family are celebrating christmas in hawaii and that's where our ed henry is traveling with the president now live in honolulu. ed? bottom line the president is here in hawaii but might not be here for long. shortly after christmas likely to go back to washington. try and broker some sort of a deal. you remember before he left for hawaii, he announced that he wanted more of a short-term deal. sort of scaled back stop gap measure so that that big grand 4 trillion-dollar. instead he wanted to extend tax cuts for the middle class. he wanted to extend benefits for 2 million people that will lose those benefits a week after christmas. republicans are saying they think the president actually wants to go off the fiscal cliff for political gain. take a listen. when i listen to the president i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. additional tax revenue for new programs. he gets to cut the military which democrats have been calling for for years. and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> now, republicans are also sk
to clarify which massacre we're talking about. >>> and remembering senator daniel inouye from hawaii. >> a long storied career for the senator there. we'll get to that in a second. but first, our big story of the week, of the day, of the year in many ways and in many cases. middle and high school teachers return to class this morning in newtown. but the children who attended sandy hook elementary will be home for another day. >> and there's a massive volunteer effort to get their new school ready for classes and there are many more funerals today. abc's t.j. winick joins was the latest. hi, t.j. >> reporter: good morning. as you mentioned, the first two of what will eventually be over two dozen somber funerals were held yesterday. ♪ this is the living memorial in downtown sandy hook, where a constant stream of locals and visitors come to remember those lost in friday's horror. in newtown, a funeral for 6-year-old noah pozner, who was eulogized as a boy who liked animals, video games and mexican food. at his funeral, an onlooker collapsed. inside, his mother shared stories that had
>> bill: where do we go now? 866-55-press. i tell you where we go now. hawaii. >> that's what the president ought to do. hell, the senate is out of town. the house is out of town. they are not going to get anything done. so the president is going to hawaii, i bet, today. we are going over the cliff, meaning tax rates are going to go up on every single one of us every single american on january 1st, including -- i mean, everybody. everybody. and then, i think what's going to happen is that president obama and democrats are going to put forth a bill to give us 98% of americans, those on the first $250,000 of income 98% of americans a tax cut, and i think congress will be forced to pass it. but there is no doubt about it. i believe -- you tell me if i am wrong -- the american people know who is to blame here it's not president obama. it's not democrats in the house. it's not democrats in the senate. the only person to blame here are the republicans in the house and john boehner. we have been telling you for a long time, boehner can't control his own ca
very good so far. we know that the president obama, on the way back from hawaii, worked the phones a bit, talking to the top four congressional leaders. speaker boehner, nancy pelosi, mitch mcconnell, and harry reid. earlier today, the senate majority leader sounded frustrated with the republicans in congress. >> nothing can move forward unless speaker boehner and mitch mcconnell are willing to come up with a bipartisan plan to participate. speaker boehner is unwilling to negotiate. we have not heard a word since neither mcconnell. nothing has happened. >> i should note that senator reid was due for a news conference later this afternoon. that has since been canceled. perhaps the senate majority leader has decided to do his talking behind closed doors and hammer out a deal. greg: filled with metaphors, no doubt. what a republican saying about the status of the fiscal cliff negotiations? reporter: they have been pretty quiet so far. we know the speaker of the house and the republican leadership team in the house is due for a conference call with members that are still back in their
family arrived in hawaii just a short time ago. the president and lawmakers are expected to return thursday after the christmas break. before leaving washington, mr. obama and house speaker john boehner both expressed hope that a deal will actually get done. >> we can't cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many of us believe on both sides of the aisle that the fundamental reform of our tax code will help us get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans on -- how we get there, god only knows. >> i asked for a compromise from members of congress, i met them more than halfway on spending and met them halfway on taxes. in terms of actual dollar amounts, we're not that far apart. as of today, i am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done. >> but time is running out. to reach an agreement, there are now just ten days left until automatic tax hikes and spending cuts do take effect. the s&p 500 and the nasdaq finished in some negative territory for the day. investors fear the country could slide back into recess
. >>> also this morning president obama cutting short his vacation in hawaii, heading back to washington that. will happen tonight to work on a fiscal cliff deal. don't wait for washington to reach a deal by the end of the year. coming up, what you can do right now to minimize the impact on your own bottom line. >>> jessica simpson used the holiday to confirm she is pregnant once again. she tweetd a picture of her 7-month-old daughter maxwell with the words "big sis." >>> in mobile, alabama, for us this morning, jim cantore. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, savannah. storm prediction center said we had as many as 34 tornadoes yesterday. average for the month of december is 26. church behind me here heavily damaged, two sections of the roof have been torn off and dropped below. christmas morning, that church was full of people and parishioners attending christmas service. power poles have been taken down as well. the last thing people in mobile expected on christmas day was to be cleaning up after a tornado. >> oh, my god! look at that. >> reporter: this was the scene in downtown mobil
. president obama flying home from hawaii this morning to try and get a deal on the fiscal cliff with the deadline just five days away now, but are the two sides even talking? >>> 36 million hits and counting. the videos that made us laugh, cry and cringe in 2012. we are going to look back at four of the year's most talked about internet sensations as the stars of them join us live in the studios, thursday, december 27th, 2012. >>> from nbc news, this is "today" with matt lauer and savannah guthrie, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza. >>> good morning. welcome to "today" on this thursday morning. i'm savannah guthrie. >> i'm willie geist in this morning for matt. we have the party music on for a reason. it's someone's birthday in this room today. happy birthday, savannah. >> thank you. i'm getting my musical request for today. a little techovibe. >> we will have the carbon daters to take us back to the day you were born. >> do you need to tweet out my age? >> i gave some hints. >> turning 30, very excited about that. >> we'll let you have that one. >> a lot of wind in the n
. >> reporter: it feels like it, the president is in hawaii and congress is out of town and the fiscal cliff negotiations are on hold for the holidays with no agreement in sight. john boehner is throwing the ball in the democrats' court saying the debt is too high, spending out of control and taxes should not go up. in the g.o.p.'s weekly address, he accused the president and the democrats of refusing to accept a reasonable compromise. >> the best way to address our crippling debt is to make significant spending cuts and fix our tax code. to pave the way for long term growth and opportunity. this is an approach most americans support and remains republicans' highest priority. but we only run the house. democrats continue to run washington. >> reporter: the president left town for his traditional christmas in hawaii and he and his family arriving there this morning and he has gotten in a round of golf already. before leaving the white house, he stayed back hayes spe-- scal back his expectations, and he said it is time for compromise. >> president barack obama: we move forward together sore we
, even the president himself. we would all like to go to hawaii but honestly it was very upsetting. so many people i talked to over the holidays they are saying what are they doing? they should be sitting there doing the tough work we pay them to do, representing us in their various districts and states. >> the optics are terrible, but here's the reality, kimberly. and i'm not disagreeing with the folks that told you that. but the reality is when we are in washington there's one person negotiating on behalf of the house and then 434 people are sitting around naming post offices or playing solitary on their computers. there's only one person who is negotiating on behalf of the house and that's john boehner. and frequently he's negotiating by himself. i'll say this, it's good for us to go home to the people we work for so we can get an earful, as i have gotten over the last three or four days, whether it's the grocery store or church or wal-mart or this morning while i was running someone stopped me and gave me an earful, which i very much need. so if you are going on vacation, then, no,
got to go on vacation in hawaii. >> eric: taxes revert to the bush tax cut expire and president obama says republicans look at this. tax cuts for everyone making under 250. can republicans say no to tax cut in 2013? >> andrea: it will be tough. not tougher than the p.r. battle they are fighting now. i think he wants that scenario, eric. i think obama thinks going off the cliff is a win for him so he can pass the obama tax cut and say look, i'm bringing in revenue. i lowered the deficit. pass his tax cut. a win and he can blame the g.o.p. i would argue i don't think the g.o.p. had the ball on this fight. i don't think they gave it up. i don't think they had it. it's very tough for them to win against the white house like this. and a white house press corps that is not going to report anything negative against the president. >> eric: the ball is a debt ceiling. remember, all the negotiations, tell you, i'll get to greg, they have to go through the house. money negotiations go through the house. if the house says no on raising debt ceiling they can create havoc. go ahead. >> greg: i don'
the fiscal cliff. happy new year. here's what you might have missed. president obama left hawaii early to get back to washington today. the senate is also coming back from christmas vacation today to work on a deal. now, sources tell us majority leader harry reid will push a scaled-back version of the fiscal cliff package that president obama laid out on friday, which moved the tax hike needle to $400,000. no word yet on when the house of representatives might come back, but democrats say the only hope we have of something getting through the house, the senate and the white house may be a very last-minute deal. cnn radio's lisa is following developments on capitol hill right now. the ball is in senate majority leader harry reid's court it would seem right now, lisa. >> that's right. harry reid and the senate seem to be the only game in town right now with the senate returning today. we also know from sources, ali, that over this christmas break there were no conversations between the president and top-level republicans. sources from both parties are telling us they are watching the senate, es
keilar joins us live from honolulu, hawaii. so a slight bit of news. do tell. >> reporter: i hesitate to even say it's a slight bit of news because it's sort of exactly what we would expect, to be honest. the white house is talking about senate democrats about what senate majority leader harry reid will have to cobble together when the senate reconvenes on the 27th and that's really the last-ditch effort. it's seen as the senate trying to do something that can also pass the house, so this is exactly what you would expect. the real problem though is as of this morning, just a week out from when the fiscal cliff is expected to hit. there's no discussions between congressional democrats and congressional republicans even on the staff level. this is what democratic and republican sources are telling me, and overall just to remind people, instead of this being -- here's what we expect. instead of this being some big bill to try to deal with the long-term fiscal health of the country which is what the fiscal cliff was supposed to be an incentive to do, we're expecting now that this is just
state of hawaii. he was a world war ii medal of honor winner who lost an arm to a german hand grenade in italy. he became the first japanese american in congress and served 50 years in the u.s. senate. his death was announced by harry reid. >> the kindness that he has shown me for me time here in the senate has been something i will cherish always. a man who has lived and breathed the senate. he was that patriot. >> very kind words. president obama also a native of hawaii tweeted aloha yesterday. he died yesterday at 88 years old. >>> there is progress in talks on the fiscal cliff, but major sticking points still remain with just two weeks to go. a top republican says there is disagreement over spending cuts versus new taxes and until that could be worked out, there won't be any talks about the specific details. and wall street closed higher over signs of the talks. the dow jones rose 100 points for its biggest gain of the month. early markets overseas also higher because of capitol hill optimism. and a bounce back in china's economy. >>> a holiday miracle for drivers as plunging gas
. also, president obama comes back from hawaii for the year's final showdown with congress. >>> and syria's government unleashes its most sophisticated weapons of the war. missiles from iran. we'd like to welcome our viewers here in the united states and around the world. wolf blitzer is off today. i'm candy crowley and you're in "the situation room." >>> i want to begin with a crisis you probably don't know is coming and, of course, is just about to hit. barring a last minute deal, union dock workers at more than a dozen major ports will go on strike this weekend. meaning just about everything we buy, from clothes to cars, can't be unloaded. the strike would impact 14 port along the eastern seaboard in gulf coast, including the port of baltimore and that's where we find cnn's brian todd live. the potential impact of this is pretty big. >> reporter: it's huge, candy. right here, this is one of the most crucial ports for commerce in this region. the sieger terminal. you can see massive container ships sitting in port. this is the port terminal with the bustling operations, containers still
can't imagine their consciences. >> reporter: of course president obama has left hawaii. he is heading back to washington from his family vacation. we learned from the white house that the president had made calls to the top four congressional leaders mcconnell and boehner on the republican side, pelosi and reid on the democratic side. we'll see what the president has in mind when he touches down back in washington a little later this morning, harris. harris: mike you mentioned it. i'm mentioning it too. it is coming into the newsroom from senator mcconnell's spokesperson and just wondering what the republicans say they want. they want to review legislation and make decisions how best to proceed. they're waiting for now the white house to make the next move. >> reporter: there is definitely a game of chicken going on where the senate democrats are saying, well we need to know from mcconnell what he is willing to do. mcconnell is saying i will not rubberstamp a plan i haven't seen so you need to lay out a plan. we know from speaker boehner's spokesman he is in ohio. he will let us know
's. it's amazing what soup can do. >>> the president heading back to d.c. from hawaii to try to keep america from going over the fiscal cliff. as the house and senate reconvene tomorrow. the clock is ticking. six days until the deadline. the way things work in washington, can they actually get something done before the end of the year? brianna keilar, what is the latest on this? >> hi, there, drew. president obama will be heading home from hawaii tonight, logical time arri arriving in d.c. thursday morning when the senate will be reconvenin reconvening, and the senate, all eyes on now, that we look for the last-ditch effort to avoid the fiscal cliff. even though the president is returning on thursday, we may not see the senate roll out its bill to deal with the fiscal cliff. perhaps for a couple of days. this is entirely possible we've learned from sources as senate majority leader harry reid works to get republican support in the senate, which he will need if he's going to pass a bill. and so we're still waiting to see exactly what it will look like that the white house wants for th
and acting tough when he was just away for week in hawaii. everyone deserves a nice christmas holiday but not when we have serious issues that need to be addressed. i don't think the president has led on this. the american people are also partly to blame here. there was an election and he left in place everything the same. the house is the same. senate is basically the same. you voted for basically more of the same. american people don't escape blame either. >> gregg: van hollen basically has the same argument, he has been out for 12 days and vanhollen, boehner would not touk talk to him. i'm not sure i buy that. if it does go to the fiscal cliff and we go over it, sequestration would cut only $109 billion next year. that is actually not a lot in a budget of almost four trillion, is it? >> it's not a lot of the total number, half of that goes to defense which are own admirals and generals have said and secretary of defense would be devastating. this comes on top of -- $50 billion in one year to the defense. and it doesn't touch at all medicare and the other entitlement programs. >> gr
. >> and the president isn't going to hawaii now, right? >> the last i heard, it was still up in the air. you can't imagine he would have a vacation now. or any of them shouldn't have a vacation now. but we don't know. so cliff hanger is the right word for sure. >>> now we turn to a political eye opener and a new poll about the republican party. for the first time, the majority of americans, 53% in fact, say the republicans are too extreme. that is up from 40% just two years ago. also 22% of the republicans polled now admit their party is moving beyond the main stream. >>> another madoff family member heads to prison for being part of that multibillion dollar ponzi scheme. bernard madoff's younger brother, peter, has been sentenced to ten years. he pled guilty in june to conspiracy and falsifying the records of an investment adviser. the younger plaido eer madoff s didn't know about the fraud until his brother told him. a new judge in new york said she had a hard time believing that. >>> and call this an indication of the reduced influence of the 220-year-old new york stock exchange. it's being b
have attacked the pearl harbor hawaii from the air. i repeat, president roosevelt says that the japanese have attacked pearl harbor in hawaii from the air. >> flashback this day in 1941, a day that will live in infamy. the most amazing thing, when you go to visit the arizona site is the oil that still sits on top of the water. all right. maggie, i don't want to use the phrase ptsd lightly. so i apologize to those who will criticize me for doing that but getting the romney e-mail, i thought, we missed hawkinggail, all of this back and forth. they decided to tell us about the numbers. i have a theory why. they know that the first report was going to show them with a lot of money and they were trying to explain it? >> i think that's true. this is also one of the areas that they are genuinely proud of on this campaign. so i think that's why they were highlighting it. i had the same reaction on twitter last night as you did. what they didn't get into was debt. >> what they still have to pay off. >> it's not just that, though. there's also debt in terms of what they borrowed
? then paradise lost. will president obama leave hawaii behind the day after christmas if a deal is in the works and the election hangover. new comments from one of mitt romney's sons that you might describe as puzzling. what do they really mean? and the gun battle rages on. new reports on why nothing may get done even after the sandy hook tragedy. >>> a massive tax hike and spending cuts -- republicans and democrats continue to point fingers in opposite directions, hinting that talks could go into the new year. >> are we going over the cliff? >> i believe we are, and i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. he senses a victory at the bottom of the cliff. >> we only have nine days left here. when are we going to get serious about actual solutions? i would welcome john to tell me. he says he wants a solution. give us one, john. >> meanwhile, president obama is spending christmas in hawaii where he and the first lady attended the holiday memorial service for the late u.s. senator from daniel inouye. >> white house correspondent kristen welker. kristen, obviously
. and finally amazing images from hawaii's big island. it is lava streaming right into the pacific ocean. tourists are blocking to the area to watch the orange glow and eruption of steam. >>> a little sports. we'll start with the nba. thunder, nets. oklahoma city's kevin durant had 32 points against brooklyn and the thunder beat the nets 117-111. in houston, greg smith had a strong second half against the lakers. and they took the lead on three point shot from tony douglas. houston over los angeles 107-105. college basketball, number three michigan rolled over western michigan, 73-41. and that extends the wolverine's streak to seven wins, no losses. congratulations to them. late in the second half, north carolina state's c.j. lessly takes it to the hole for the jam. the wolfpack defeats uconn 69-65. >>> the "boston globe" reports that the red sox have made a three years, are $38 million offer to dodgers and phillies center fielder shane victorino. >>> and los angeles galaxy soccer star david beckham finally said good-bye after six years, thanked his fans. the team won its second mls cham
and hawaii. officials tell cnn that the working assumption is that the north koreans got outside help from others, including iran. so today's launch is raising some huge concerns. let's go to our pentagon correspondent barbara starr. i assume they are pretty surprised and alarmed by the successful launch over at the pentagon? >> look, wolf, because of everything you just mentioned, indeed, the u.s. military, the intelligence committee have been watching north korea for days now 24/7 because they did expect to launch and they announced it. but they were having technical problems so a lot thought it wouldn't happen until next week. when it happened last week, there was a surprise. the north korean anchor's excitement was clear. >> announcing the launch of a long-range rocket that put a north korean satellite to orbit around the earth. they clearly achieved one goal raising everyone's anxiety level. >> this is a step towards the ability to build a long-range missile that could strike parts of the united states. >> but i don't think this really was a great advance forward. i think in terms of
, hawaii, this morning. i'm talking to republican and democratic sources and they really feel like we're going to go over the cliff. what are you hearing? >> i'm hearing it's a very real possibility, and as you're hearing, they aren't even really talking, democrats and reyou public i had cans, the white house talks to senate democrats, but at this point, the white house is not in any real substan tiff conversations with both house republicans and senate republicans as all eyes turn to the senate, and perhaps because of that, some of the pessimism you heard from senator liberman there is shared by replicans. listen. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue for new programs, gets to cut the military and blame republicans for it. >> attention now turns to the senate which will reconvene on thursday. the 27th. house majority leader harry reid now has the task of trying to cobble something together that could perhaps pass the sena
. >>> it is time now for your 5@5:00. the top five making news at this hour. he represented hawaii from the time it became a state in 1959. the nation now mourning the loss of democratic senator daniel in inouye. >> he rarely called attention to himself. but to lived a remarkable life filled with dignity and grace of the true hero he was. >> pro-tem inawdiana n-- inouyes 88 years old. >> the benghazi terror attack is in the hands of secretary of state hillary clinton. it could reveal myth or ignore warning signs before the attack which left four americans dead. the leaders will brief lawmaker rs tomorrow. clinton no longer testifying before congress this week after concussions. john bolton says clinton still must testify. >> when you don't want to go to a meeting or conference or event you have a diplomatic illness. this is a diplomatic illness to beat the band. she may be testiat testifying t week but she is not going to escape this forever. >> the state department says clinton suffered a concussion after fainting. >> she is the right u.s. senator for her state and her country. south carolina g
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